Marita Murray has been part of the Music Generation Cork City team since 2014, teaching piano and saxophone on a range of MGCC programmes in partnership with Cork Academy of Music and Music Mash Up. Prior to joining MGCC, she studied classical piano and has a BMus degree and an MA in Music Education from CIT Cork School of Music. You’ll find her on Instagram at ‘maritamurraymusic’.
- Where do you call home?
I have two homes; Co. Wexford where I grew up, and Cork where I moved to when I was 18 to study music.
- Best thing about your locality?
I love Cork. It has always struck me that folk here have the souls of country people. People are kind, compassionate, and really look out for one another.
- A memory from your childhood or teens.
Many lucky escapes as a child! Several pretty serious water incidents, a lucky escape involving my dog and a moving lorry, falling from heights… it’s a miracle I’m here at all! I was that kid who was always trying to keep up with my adventurous older siblings.
- Earliest memory of music?
Blowing into a very rusty harmonica in the “music room” at home, aged 3 or 4. There were all kinds of instruments, sheet music, and records scattered around the house, and music playing was always present and encouraged. My Dad is a musician and songwriter. His career had a huge impact on myself and my siblings lives – we are all heavily involved in music as adults. (My Mom hasn’t a note in her head but she’s a great cook!)
- How would you describe the music you play?
I am a classical piano player. I began my training aged 6, and continued classical training at CIT Cork School of Music with Jan Cáp. Although I often branch into other styles and genres in various settings depending on the job, classical music is where I feel most at ease as a performer and a player. It’s where “home” exists in music for me. It has taken me many years to realise this.
- Is there anyone in particular you would like to collaborate with?
- Have you ever felt performance anxiety?
For sure – its part of any type of performance and at any level. I have honestly found that times when I didn’t feel nerves I didn’t play as well. They seem to keep you on your toes and hold you in the present. They also show that you care about your performance. However, if they are really dehabilitating and are destructive to your performance, I recommend reading “The Inner Game of Music” by Barry Green.
- Who is your inspiration?
- Thing or person that annoys you?
- If you weren’t doing your current job, what might you be doing?
Midwifery. I think the assistance of bringing lives into the world, as well as caring for mothers and their newborns at such a joyous time in their lives, must be an incredible job. I considered going back to study this at one point in my life.
- Where was your most memorable holiday?
Ballylanders in County Limerick – My mom is from there and we visited out grandmother and relatives there every summer for several weeks. It was like a different world to us coming from a more modern village – a little cottage on a farm by the foot of the Galtee mountains. It was like stepping back in time. Our time and experiences there shaped my siblings and I as people.
- Favourite food?
Peanut butter… and aubergine…. but not together
- Favourite place to eat?
Café Paradiso on the Western Road.
- Last book you read?
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
- Last album/CD/download you bought / or what music do you most stream?
The last album I streamed was Kamasi Washington’s album “The Epic”.
- Current favourite song?
“Big My Secret’ – a piano composition by Michael Nyman.
- Favourite film?
“McQueen” – a documentary on Netflix about the designer Alexander McQueen. He was a genius. His designs were constructions of art rather than catwalk fashion.
- Favourite performance you were ever at?
Air at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin around 2000. Just, wow. Those guys are incredible live.
- A concert / show you wish you had been at?
Prince at Malahide Castle in 2011. I gave away my ticket thinking I’d catch him the next time he came to Ireland… his premature death was a sad loss to the music world.
- Performer you would like to see?
- Do you have a pet?
No, but if I had the money I would buy a horse, stable, and a field.
- Morning person or night owl?
A bit of both.
- Your proudest moment?
When my daughter Aoife was born.
- What makes you happy?
- What else are you up to at the moment?
I’m working on a two-hour set of classical piano pieces. I’m memorising each one, so it’s a slow process, but it’s getting there. I’m really enjoying getting back to my roots as a musician. You can follow my journey on Instagram at maritamurraymusic.